Our problem is not the sharks but the rodents

Opinion  |  S Thayaparan
Published:  |  Modified:

“People who don't expect justice don't have to suffer disappointment.”

― Isaac Asimov, ‘The Robots of Dawn’

COMMENT | At the beginning of this year, as reported by Reuters, Mexico’s lower house of Congress was changed to ‘Chamber of Rats’ on Google Maps.

“Pranksters changed the name of Mexico’s lower house of Congress to the ‘Chamber of Rats’ on Google Maps on Tuesday in the latest dig at the political class during a testing start to the year for the country’s government. The lower house, also known as the Chamber of Deputies, became the ‘Chamber of Rats’, using the Spanish word ‘rata’, which is also slang for thief in Mexico.”

I found this very amusing not just because as a Malaysian I could relate to those pranksters who were merely (and correctly) relabelling the politicians whose corruption was screwing up the country, but also because as we all know the real problem here in Malaysia is not the sharks but the rodents. The rodents who infest the system that would carry on operating even if all the sharks were hunted to extinction.

These rodents are aware that as long as the sharks are there, they are safe from scrutiny. They understand that with the way the system works, with its many sacred cows of race and religion, most things are permissible. The current Umno grand poobah's mistake is not that he is allegedly corrupt; it is that he disavowed the traditional system and political personalities that nurtured him.

Mind you, it is never a good thing for democracy – if that means anything – to tell your political base that you would hunt down your political opponent if you won the election. The Malaysian Official 1 (MO1) is a legal issue - not a political one - hence, the proper response should be that you have an independent attorney-general, an independent judiciary and an independent state security apparatus to handle the legal issues that MO1 poses.

The legislative branch of government - the people who are voted in to bring change - have bigger fish to fry. This is not personal. This is supposed to be about “saving Malaysia," not “saving Malaysia from Najib Razak”. This is about saving Malaysia by dismantling a system that could create another MO1...

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